Next week, the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) is starting in Geneva. The session will last three weeks, starting on 24 June and ending on 12 July 2019.

Each Human Rights Council session is an opportunity for WILPF to leverage feminist perspectives on peace and to bridge the gap between what happens in the international bodies and on the ground.

WILPF Links Grassroots Activism to Global Advocacy

One of our greatest strengths is to connect local, national and international efforts. We support local women activists by either bringing their concerns to international bodies, such as the HRC, in the shape of reports, submissions and statements, or by facilitating their access to the relevant international fora.

This means that we are busy during international high-level meetings. During these periods, we work closely with our national Sections and Groups and our partner organisations around the world. Women’s human rights are often forgotten and together we bring forward women’s analysis on the topics discussed, participate in debates, influence negotiations, and shape responses to the outcomes of the sessions.


WILPF at the 41st Session of the HRC

As WILPF holds a Consultative Status with the UN, this gives us the right to organise side events, officially called parallel events, on topics discussed during the Council as well as to deliver oral and written statements on issues relevant to the work of the Council.

During this session, we will deliver written and oral statements, and at the moment, it is confirmed that we will be organising three side events.

Our first side event will be on Gender Justice in Business and Human Rights on 25 June 2019. Nela Porobić Isaković, WILPF Project Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina will take part in a discussion on how neoliberal economic policies and corporate impunity impact women’s rights. This event also builds on WILPF’s previous advocacy for a gender-sensitive treaty on business and human rights. During this debate, Nela Porobić Isaković will specifically address the impacts that economic reforms have had on economic, social and cultural rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the case of women’s struggle against the building of hydropower dams.

On 26 June 2019, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, which WILPF has been supporting over the past year, will hold a side-event on Bringing All the Women to the Table: Reshaping Politics in Syria through a Holistic, Inclusive and Gender-Sensitive Feminist Approach. During the event, they will launch three policy papers with recommendations on what steps are still needed to be taken in order to achieve sustainable peace in Syria. These recommendations were discussed in eight consultations from December 2018 to March 2019 within Syria and the diaspora. At the event, they will explore how to influence the constitutional reform process through supporting a feminist, inclusive, participatory, people-based and democratic course of action. In particular, they will debate how they can bring about a democratic and pluralistic Syria. 

Additionally, in partnership with Together We Build It Organization (TWBI) and with the support of UN Women, we will have an event on 28 June 2019 on feminist approaches towards achieving peace and security in the face of patriarchy, militarism, and fundamentalism. The main objective of this side event will be to launch the policy brief: A Roadmap to Sustainable Peace in Libya, recently developed by WILPF and TWBI, where we provided concrete recommendations to various national and international actors on how to achieve sustainable peace, conflict prevention and ensure effective political processes. At the event, we will highlight the significant contribution of Libyan civil society and women-led initiatives in limiting the intensification of violence, and call the international community, particularly the Human Rights Council, donors and influential States, to promote the meaningful participation of Libyan women and civil society in the peace process.

Last but not least, on 8 July 2019, we will have an event on women’s and girls’ rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The aim of the event is to discuss issues affecting Congolese women and girls, including the impact of mining activities, gender-based and sexual violence, women’s participation in political and public life, the impact of armed violence on women, particularly in Kasaï and Ituri, as well as the situation of indigenous women.

How to follow WILPF during the 41st Session of the HRC?

The best way to stay updated on our work during the HRC sessions is to visit our website During the sessions, you can also find us live on twitter under the handle @wilpf. Make sure to tag WILPF in any Facebook and Twitter content you post about the Human Rights Council and use the hashtag #HRC41.

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